Why do I get infections when I go on a beach holiday?

Ever gone on holiday to a tropical destination and found your trip ruined because your ears have blocked up after swimming in the pool or beach?

You are not alone. It is not uncommon to develop blocked ears or even an infection while holidaying in a destination with a warm climate, because of the time spent in the water.

Water in the ear can become trapped behind the wax and this can make you feel blocked. Different swimming spots can have different water quality too. Swimming at the beach or in a river may be dirty water and the bacteria in the water can enter the ear and remain in there because it cannot flow out. This can cause an infection known as “Swimmer’s Ear” but can also occur after spending time in hot and moist locations without swimming.

How does the infection occur?

When wet, the skin that lines the ear canal swells and can become soft. Tiny cracks or splits in the skin can occur allowing bacteria to enter, making the ear liable to infection.

What do I do if I suspect I have an ear infection?If your ear doesn’t feel right, or is itchy, sore or oozing, make an appointment with our Ear Nurses or your Doctor. A gentle clean of your ear and some anti-microbial drops can easily treat the infection. It is important to keep your ear dry too, because bacteria can thrive in a damp environment.

Finally, it is a good idea to have your wax removed via microsuction, before going on your long-awaited holiday so that you can enjoy it fully!